My close encounter of the Covid kind

Last week, I received an email from one of the caregiver agencies that provide nurses that one had tested positive for Covid, and I had to self-isolate. Almost instantly after reading the email, I went through many emotions, but fear and anger were the main ones.

My fear stemmed from the fact that I already have breathing issues. To those of you that are just tuning in, I’m unable to breathe on my own, and therefore, I use a portable ventilator at all times. Whenever I get sick or something gets stuck in my lungs, I run the risk of going to the ER. Right now, that’s the last place that I want to be. Also, if I were to get Covid, I don’t think it would go well for me, even though I’ve had my three shots.

The anger part was that I felt the agency and caregiver weren’t doing enough to protect me and others. While the caregiver in question had been wearing PPE, I doubt they were outside of work or around others. So, I had that feeling of not knowing and probably never will. Last week, I wrote about several Paramedic staff attending a holiday party and that several patients got Covid.

I’m not saying that the caregiver attended parties or anything, but considering I still hear and see examples of careless people, the thought does cross my mind.

In the early stages of the pandemic, at least one of my caregivers told their boss that a friend of mine was still visiting me during the lockdown. My friend was, and still is, in my bubble, and we both know where we’ve been and all that. Also, we trust each other cause that’s what friends do. The part that frustrated and angered me when this happened was that I was being watched, but the caregiver was allowed to be around others freely.

To me, it was a huge double standard.

I’m aware of my risks and responsibilities regarding Covid and other illnesses. I take care of myself. Yes, I have caregivers, but I’m the one who makes health and well-being decisions. I think I’m doing a pretty good job.

I’ve had many caregivers throughout my life, possibly into the four digits range. For me, a caregiver could be a PSW, a nurse, a partner, or a family member. I’ve had many that believed they could control my life and make decisions for me. On the other end, I’ve had caregivers that didn’t care. To them, it was just a paycheck.

Between those two extremes, it leaves a wide range.

One thing that often happens is that I get caregivers who think they know me better than I know myself or my body. While I understand that in some cases, the person they’re caring for may not always be able to make decisions, it’s unfair to assume that we’re all the same.

As far as my Covid status goes:

Shortly after I received the email, I asked about getting tested. Ottawa Public Health said no because I didn’t have symptoms, and they were running low on testing kits.

Being as active as I am on social media, I posted my news regarding Covid. One of my friends offered to drop off two kits and assist me with doing the test.

Later that day, they helped me out. While it was nice to see them, the actual swapping wasn’t so lovely.

I’m happy to report that my test was negative, and I still don’t have any symptoms.

Right now, I’m still self-isolating and will be until January 19th. The only other person that I’ve seen, besides my caregivers, is my friend that helped me do the test.

To be honest, self-isolation itself has been ok. The fact that it's Winter helps. I typically hibernate during the Winter. Also, I keep telling myself that it could be much worse.

As for the caregiver that tested positive, I have no idea how they are or if anything will change. I’m guessing that I’ll know more as the week rolls on.

As someone who has become a little more familiar with Covid, I want you all to please do your part in protecting yourself and others, especially those considered vulnerable.

The sooner we all do that, the sooner we’ll get out of this mess.